20% Of Children In Malaysia Are Depressed

Posted on January 6, 2014

KUALA LUMPUR: THE number of children with poor mental health is rising, with 20 per cent found to be suffering from stress, anxiety and depression in the latest National Health Morbidity Survey (NHMS).

The survey, conducted in 2011, said there were more children aged between 5 and 15 suffering from mental health issues or were prone to mental disorders, compared with the number from the NHMS conducted in 2006.

Deputy director-general of Health (Public Health) Datuk Dr Lokman Hakim Sulaiman told the New Straits Times the NHMS revealed that the figure stood at 13 per cent in 1996.

"It was at 19.4 per cent in 2006 and reached 20 per cent in 2011.

"Stress, anxiety and depression are the common mental health conditions from which students suffer.

"Some also suffer from schizo-phrenia, a severe form of mental illness."

"Students with poor mental health have low self-esteem, suffer from sadness or restlessness, show poor performance in school and have relationship problems.

"There are also mental and behavioural problems, like truancy, bullying, vandalism, substance abuse, tendency to self-harm and suicidal behaviour, that are tell-tale signs."

Dr Lokman said the Health Ministry would train more school counsellors and healthcare providers to detect early symptoms of mental health problems and suicidal behaviour.

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Category(s):Child and/or Adolescent Issues, Child Development, Depression

Source material from Malaysian Digest

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